How To Set vs Follow Trends For An Iconic Wedding

June 24, 2024

In a world where Pinterest and Instagram often dictate wedding trends, the real magic lies in creating a day that’s undeniably you. This blog is your guide to breaking free from the confines of what’s trendy, embracing the beauty of the non-traditional, and setting trends that align with your individuality.

The Secret To Setting A Trend Is…

The coolest way to set a trend, is to not think about setting a trend. It’s about being authentically you. Trends offer great inspiration, but they should be a starting point, not the end goal. Consider what you truly love, your style, and your story. Modify and personalize trends to create something that genuinely reflects those things! When you bring your personality into these elements, your wedding becomes not just a beautiful day, but a trendsetter in its own right.

Let’s Address The “Timeless” Factor

The concept of timeless weddings often gets tangled up with following traditional aesthetics. But what if we redefined timelessness? Think about weddings from past decades – like the teal and pink phase. They capture a specific time, but they might not resonate with you personally. Timeless weddings are those that reflect your journey and preferences. They can be unconventional, eclectic, and even a bit avant-garde, but because they are deeply personal, they remain timeless in your memories.

Real Couple Example:

Take inspiration from a couple who inquired with me for their wedding at the Bowery Hotel in NYC – one of the most boujee and iconic venues in the city. They strayed from the norm, focusing on elements that celebrated their personalities. Their unique idea of having paper runners for guests to doodle on with crayons during the reception was a hit. It might seem unconventional, but it was a direct reflection of their fun-loving nature! 

Some might think “Why?” But others might be OBSESSED with that idea… I just happen to be one of those people. But it’s not because of the paper and crayons – it’s because that idea is true to THEM and adds so much character and personality to their wedding day. And at the end of the day, that’s truly all I want for my clients. To feel not restrained and not care about judgment, and instead just doing whatever they want. That, in itself, will set a trend.

 Similarly, they’re planning a ‘fashion show after party’ theme for their reception (which, as a photographer with a background in fashion, this was music to my ears), aligning with their love for style and creativity. I already know that their wedding is going to be memorable because it’ll be a true representation of who they are!

Go Custom or Go Home

Customization is a powerful way to make your wedding stand out. It’s all about making choices that align with your personal style. For instance, combining different dress elements or opting for a non-traditional reception dress can make a huge impact. Think about how small details, like custom stationery or heirloom jewelry, can tell your story. Incorporating personal and familial details doesn’t fall into the “trendy” category, but it will certainly make your day totally unique to you. Even if you don’t have heirloom items, you can always go the vintage route and find pieces that align with your style but still have that classic feel.

REAL COUPLE EXAMPLE: In Mollie’s quest for the perfect bridal ensemble, she chose a stunning Anaisa gown by Ines Di Santo, complemented by a separate, yet complementary cape, both tailored to her custom preferences and measurements. The look was heavily inspired by Ines Di Santo’s signature blend of classic elegance and statement-making design – think that show stopping blue wedding dress from the show “Ginny & Georgia.” The idea of a cape was sparked by a video of Taylor Swift at the 2019, capturing the movement and elegance that Mollie envisioned for her walk down the aisle! For her, this choice was more than just fashion; it symbolized a blend of strength, femininity, individuality, and style, embodying the impression she wanted to leave on her wedding day.

REAL COUPLE EXAMPLE: Jenn’s ‘cascading roses’ gown was handmade in Vietnam by Tu Line Boutique – how much more custom can you get?! In addition, she changed into a bright red Ao Dai (the inspiration being the fire nation family from Avatar) that was also handmade in Vietnam by Meow Wedding. This is a perfect example of a bride who didn’t shy away from incorporating more traditional cultural elements, along with mixing in her own personal style and taste!

REAL COUPLE EXAMPLE: Not only did Lauren look as iconic as ever in her Kim Kasaas gown, but she paired this showstopper with a vintage veil that brought her look to perfection.

REAL COUPLE EXAMPLES: These three couples decided to go the custom stationery route to add an extra level of personalization to their day – from invites to menu cards to place settings, there are so many opportunities to make such simple aspects more tailored to YOU and your day!

Look For Unconventional Venues

The venue sets the stage for your wedding, and choosing an unconventional one can make your day truly unique. From airplane hangars to family-owned properties, these spaces can add a personal touch that traditional venues may not offer. Hosting your wedding in a place that holds special meaning to you, or simply intrigues you with its uniqueness, can transform your celebration into an extraordinary experience. Even locations like an old grand theater, a museum, or a train station can be transformed into a non-traditional and stylish venue for your wedding.

REAL COUPLE EXAMPLE: Jaqueline and Jason got married in Scottsdale, AZ, and had their reception at an airport hangar of all places! Check out their full story (drool over the rest of their photos) on the blog.

REAL COUPLE EXAMPLE: Maisie and Quinn hosted their wedding at a close family friend’s property to keep it intimate and all in one place. They had an indoor/outdoor ceremony then headed to a restaurant for an intimate reception dinner afterward!

Draw Inspo From Your Own Interests

Your interests, passions, and personal preferences are the perfect sources of inspiration for your wedding. For foodie couples, collaborating with caterers to create a bespoke menu can turn your reception into a culinary extravaganza! Your hobbies, passions, and personal story should be the foundation of your wedding’s theme and style. This approach ensures your wedding is not just unique, but a celebration of your individuality.

REAL COUPLE EXAMPLE: Chaylene and Jamasen are the definition of a foodie couple! Instead of having a traditional reception dinner, they spent countless hours with their catering team to create this beautiful, poetic culinary presentation for their guests.

REAL COUPLE EXAMPLE: Esteli and Keyon ditched the traditional timeline and opted for their personal preference – an early morning ceremony and an evening reception/party at a different location.

My Own Trendsetting Moment

Reflecting on my own wedding, the decision to choose a green reception dress from St. John over traditional white options was a moment of self-expression. It was a choice that resonated with my personal style and made my wedding feel more ‘me.’ I encourage all brides to explore outside traditional norms and find something that truly speaks to their personal style.

REAL COUPLE EXAMPLE: Angela had her own main character moment with with not one, not two, but THREE different outfits! The more, the merrier, right?

One Of The Most Important Factors…

To effectively bring your unique vision to life, working with a designer or coordinator is crucial. They can translate your ideas into reality, ensuring every detail comes out tasteful and cohesive. A good designer will understand your vision and help you navigate the complexities of planning a wedding that’s both personal to you and unforgettable.

REAL EXAMPLE: One of my industry (and personal) friends, Noelle of Silk and Slate Co., hosted an electric-themed luncheon inspired by the iconic movie, Saltburn. With such complex and intricate details, she spent countless hours making everything stunning and cohesive, highlighting the value of having an experienced designer/planner for any trendsetting event!

REAL COUPLE EXAMPLE: Brett and Kelly decided on a Greek celestial vogue theme for their wedding in Virginia – a theme that could not have been executed so well without a kickass planning/styling team behind them.

In Conclusion…

As we wrap up this journey through the art of personalizing your wedding, remember that your wedding day should be a canvas for your love story, not a replica of someone else’s trend. By focusing on what truly matters to you, your wedding will not only stand out but also remain timeless in your own right. Dare to be different, embrace your uniqueness, and let your wedding be a trendsetter by being authentically you.